New legislation helps teens aging out of foster care transition to adulthood

Bill to help foster teens

Governor expected to sign bill to help foster teens.

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Governor John Kasich is expected to sign off on new legislation that will help teens who are aging out of foster care become more successful adults.

Right now, when foster children turn 18 they face a sharp cut-off of resources and support, resulting in many of them becoming homeless. This new legislation would extend support services until age 21.

“Where is home? That was my biggest issue,” says 22-year-old Romero Triplett.

He was emancipated out of the foster care system when he was 17.

“A lot of kids are out there struggling because they get into the system and then they like collapse, after 18,” says Triplett.

Utah program needs more loving foster families

Dan Webster of the Utah Foster Care Foundation: "If you have your siblings around you, it makes things a whole lot less scary."

Dan Webster of the Utah Foster Care Foundation: “If you have your siblings around you, it makes things a whole lot less scary.”

The Utah Foster Care Foundation, which matches families with children in the state foster care system needs more loving foster families. Currently there are 2700 children in the state foster care system and only 1300 foster families.

The biggest need is for families who are willing and able to take in groups of siblings. Most foster children have been removed from homes where there has been domestic violence and or substance abuse. The children are often abused themselves so the state tries really hard to keep them together.

“If you have your siblings around you, it makes things a whole lot less scary,” said Dan Webster of the Utah Foster Care Foundation.

Church urges foster care

No child should be without a family — or a community.

That belief is the driving force behind Community Church’s new foster care initiative, The Village, said Amanda Powell, chief operating officer for Community Church.

More than 1,000 children across Hampton Roads are in foster care — and there are many others that agencies are trying to place into the foster care system, said Powell.

Through The Village, Community Church is helping families navigate the cumbersome process of becoming foster parents, according to Dawn Sutherland, the church’s communications director. The Chesapeake church is streamlining the process by bringing multiple social service and foster agencies together at the Jolliff Road church for training and information sessions.

Little Girl Gets Forever Home after Nine Foster Families

Tara said, “I guess what held me back was I kept thinking we would have more children. Bringing someone into your home and opening up your home is hard. It's difficult. It's not easy. But God did not call us to do the easy. He called us to be faithful.”

Foster mom: “God did not call us to do the easy. He called us to be faithful.”

DOTHAN, AL (WTVY) It has been an exciting week for a young Dothan girl. After years in foster care, Savannah Singley now has a forever home.

“2951 days she’s been in foster care. Nine homes. We were nine. She’s nine years old. And she’ll never move again. No one is ever going to come pick her up. No one is ever going to come take her somewhere else. She has a forever family,” said her dad, Allen Singley.

Allen and Tara Singley always had an urge to become foster parents, but say the time just wasn’t right.

Tara said, “I guess what held me back was I kept thinking we would have more children. Bringing someone into your home and opening up your home is hard. It’s difficult. It’s not easy. But God did not call us to do the easy. He called us to be faithful.”

They took that leap of faith. The Singley’s began their foster care journey in March of 2015 through the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home. Their new daughter Savannah was placed with them in November. Ssince then, they’ve fostered nine other children.

Chambliss Center Hosts Foster Care Info Night June 6

As a follow-up to National Foster Care Month in May, Chambliss Center for Children will host a Foster Care Info Night on Monday, June 6 from 6:30-8 p.m.

With an estimated 750 to 800 children in the Tennessee Valley in state care at any given time, there is a critical need for quality, loving foster homes in this area. The public is invited to attend this free Foster Care Info Night to learn more about fostering a child who has been removed from their home. The event will feature a short film on a child’s experience in foster care and the value of a loving, safe foster home. There will be an opportunity to learn more about Chambliss Center for Children, the foster care system, requirements for fostering, and to hear from a current foster parent.

Adoption and foster care connected to mental health and substance use

A national Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study found that 25 percent of people in foster care had post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nearly doubling the rate of U.S. war veterans having PTSD.

A national Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study found that 25 percent of people in foster care had post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nearly doubling the rate of U.S. war veterans having PTSD.

HICKORY— Gov. Pat McCrory’s Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force approaches foster care and adoption services as a key element, Co-Chair of the task force and Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS), Rick Brajer said.

They are examining the link from foster care to mental health and substance use, he added.

A national Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study found that 25 percent of people in foster care had post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nearly doubling the rate of U.S. war veterans having PTSD, Clinical Director Child Welfare Program Manager Chrissy Triplett said.

“Experiencing trauma in lives can lead to behavioral health challenges and sometimes unfortunately those children in foster care resort to substances to self medicate the very real needs they have from behavioral issues,” Brajer said.

More children in state’s care as officials recruit foster families

Sam Smith,  director of Calhoun County Department of Health and Welfare

Sam Smith, director of Calhoun County Department of Health and Welfare

The number of Calhoun County children in state custody jumped by nearly 30 percent from 2015, according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

That rise comes with the increasing need of more foster families to take those children in, DHR administrators said.

From April 2015 to April of this year, the number of Calhoun County children in state custody increased from 177 to 229. The rise follows an overall statewide trend, said Barry Spear, spokesman for Alabama’s Department of Human Resources.

Patrick seeks faith-based help to fix foster care crisis

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick encourage faith-based help to fix foster care crisis.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick encourage faith-based help to fix foster care crisis.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday called on faith-based leaders to help the state repair its crisis-plagued foster care system.

In a meeting with 11 religious and faith-based service leaders, Patrick said he looked to them to identify ways in which the faith-based community can help children who are involved, or at risk of becoming involved, with the state’s foster care system.

“Faith-based communities have a long history of involvement with these children and we need this partnership to grow dramatically,” Patrick said in a statement after the meeting. “Last session, we increased funding for Child Protective Services by $230 million, and resources for prevention and early intervention programs, but we need to do more.”

Green Bay family is making a difference in foster care

One of Becky Van Lanen's foster children playing. Becky and her husband Brad have been foster parents for five years. (WLUK/David Duchan)

One of Becky Van Lanen’s foster children playing. Becky and her husband Brad have been foster parents for five years. (WLUK/David Duchan)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) — As a mother plays and laughs with her foster children, her smile lights up the room.

Becky Van Lanen and her husband, Brad, have been foster parents for five years.

“We wanted a big family and we already had three girls so we were like, why don’t we open our home to other kids who really just need love and a family,” said Van Lanen.

Over the past five years they’ve cared for 88 children and adopted one.

“All of our kids have been wonderful that have come into our house; they have all had their special qualities,” said Van Lanen.

The Van Lanens are currently caring for four foster children.

“The number of kids that came into care is increasing faster,” said Oriana Carey, the CEO of Wisconsin Coalition for Children, Youth & Families.

Beating the Odds: Boosting School Success Rates for Students in Foster Care

Kathy Rando once worried she wouldn't graduate high school. But her foster mother (who later adopted her) reinforced the importance of an education and helped her study for her GED, and she has earned her associate's degree.

Kathy Rando once worried she wouldn’t graduate high school. But her foster mother (who later adopted her) reinforced the importance of an education and helped her study for her GED, and she has earned her associate’s degree.

NEW YORK — Before moving from her biological mother’s home and into foster care at age 10, Kathy Rando was in the gifted program at her elementary school. But by the time she was 17, Rando had lived in upwards of 10 foster homes and spent four years in a residential treatment center (RTC), before finally dropping out of high school.

“School was not really my main priority,” said Rando, now 25. “It was just making sure I was OK during the day.”

For youth in foster care, ensuring that basic needs like shelter, food and safety are met takes priority, often leaving education as an afterthought. Many foster youth have experienced trauma, which has an adverse affect on a child’s ability to learn, and children often change schools when they move into a new home. In New York City, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) estimates this happens between 15 and 20 percent of the time, causing students to fall behind in school.